ZCCM Investments Holdings has entered into a joint venture partnership through its subsidiary Consolidated Gold Company Zambia, with Array Metals, a global mining firm to process gold ore in Mumbwa, west of Lusaka.
An initial investment of approximately $2.5 million will be invested in this first stage of the project and will go towards the setting up of a gold wash plant and other mining machinery to mine and process placer gold raw material.
In the JV agreement, CGCZ will hold a 65% stake and Array Metals Zambia will have 35% in the project, with an initial phase targeted gold production of about 3 tonnes, worth approximately $150 million at current prevailing market prices.
Array Metals Group Vice President Chris Rugari said after the signing of the agreement that the company has a two-year study conducted by Array Metals that has an estimated inferred resource by JORC standards of 3 million tonnes of gold ore material containing between 2.5 and 3.5 grams of the precious metal per tonne.
Mr Rugari stated that overall the total targeted gold production is 7, 500 kilograms from this resource, estimated to be worth $400 million at the current prevailing market price.
He however said that the agreement with CGCZ will first process part of the resource and later ramp up production and processing.
Witnessing the signing of the agreement, ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer Mr Mabvuto Chipata said that ZCCM-IH’s strategic drive to harness the gold potential as mandated by Government from areas with recorded gold occurrences in the country is aimed at contributing to the 40 tonne target, which can only be achieved through such partnerships.
And CGCZ Chief Executive Officer Faisal Keer further stated that the CGCZ is partnering with various small-scale gold miners in the country by providing mining technical expertise, and providing access to earth moving machinery and gold processing lines to kick-start and boost their gold production.
Mr Keer added that the mining and processing operations in the Mumbwa project is earmarked to start by Mid June 2020, once all statutory and regulatory approvals are obtained.
“As a medium-sized company, we are very excited about this partnership because it gives us an opportunity to work directly with the Government in contributing meaningfully to the development of Mumbwa traditionally known for agriculture, through economic diversification, local participation and job creation”, Mr Rugari added.
CGCZ is a gold processing and trading Joint Venture partnership between Karma Mining Services and Rural Development (55%) and ZCCM-IH (45%).
This is according to a statement issued to the media by ZCCM-IH Public Relations Manager Loisa Kakoma.